Physicians Group Sues Over Dietary Guidelines

February 18, 2011

1 Min Read
Physicians Group Sues Over Dietary Guidelines

WASHINGTONThe Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) over the newly released Dietary Guidelines for Americans, accusing officials of using deliberately obscure language regarding foods consumers should avoid.

PCRM, an organization dedicated to preventive medicine and a vegan diet, wants portions of the Guidelines rewritten to avoid mentioning the risks of meat and dairy products. The lawsuit also raises concerns over Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) members with ties to the meat and dairy food industries.

According to the lawsuit, the Dietary Guidelines recommend Americans should eat more vegetables, fruits and whole grains, but deliberately hide the foods that should be eaten less. The Guidelines use biochemical terms, such as saturated fat" and cholesterol" instead of specific food terms meat" and cheese." This deliberate omission can be traced to the USDAs close ties to the meat and dairy industries, including fast-food companies such as McDonalds.

While the Guidelines do acknowledge the healthfulness of plant-based diets, they also employ confusing euphemisms like solid fats to avoid being clear about the health risks posed by meat and dairy products," said PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. Americans need straightforward health advice, not bureaucratic mumbo jumbo designed to protect agribusiness."

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